Let’s remove the need of this specific day.
12 June is regarded as “world day against child labour”, but every time I think about the fact that we need to have a special day for this illness in our society, and this menace is so much prevalent that the UN needed to create a day for this. because apparently, we are so ignorant to let this menace thrive in our society. According to stats. –
- Children between the age of 5-18 yrs. (33 million) are involved in child labour.
- 80% of child labourers are in rural areas.
- Most of the children employed are in agriculture or the menial jobs at farm.
- Uttar Pradesh is the largest employer of child labours.
Now, let us recall where all we have seen these young, innocent faces burning their dreams to get a day’s meal.
Dhabas (small restaurants), tea stalls, roadside shops, at vehicle repairing shops, near traffic signals, in trains, as newspaper vendors on roads, at our homes when our housemaids bring them along. now these are the places where we have seen them working evidently, but these children aren’t just employed for these basic jobs , some monsters of this society take use of them in way more hazardous areas of work, such as fire cracker industry, matchstick making , needle manufacturers, bangle factories, tobacco industry etc. completely neglecting the health and mental hazard all these works are causing to these young fellows.
Here arises a very crucial question. How did this crisis turn into such a big havoc? Well, the answer lies in the root cause, that is poverty. Yes, in our country poverty is the mother of all the problems. because in our country even today, hunger and living are more important than education or standard of living. We as children often dream of our future, career, quality of life or betterment of our financial conditions, but these unfortunate children dream of food, education, and happiness. They pray every day for slightly less scolding from their employers or a bit rise in the earning of that day. Sadly, but this is the reality of our country. Some other reasons for this trouble are corruption, lack of awareness among the poor ones regarding their rights, also the awareness about the existing laws and punishments against this heinous transgression. further more a very vital reason behind this is the ignorance of the fortunate ones, and the ones with power.
The tender age at which these children should, eat, play, learn and dream, they are burning their feet in the scorching sun in daytime and get their skin peeled or lungs choked in factories at night. It is indeed true that our world is like an ignited lamp or candle which has bright glow at the face of it but if you look under it there’s pitch darkness. Similarly, behind the glowing faces of our society, behind all the claims of development and betterment, lurks this prolonged pain and sorrow of these young generations, which remain lost in the dark and dingy rooms of their workspaces. These young children and their dreams are the fuels to this brightly lit lamp of a society.
The existing laws and organisations working against child labour –
- Right to education – providing primary free and compulsory education to the children of age 6-14 yrs. old. To keep them away from the hazard of employment at young age.
- Factories act,1948 – mentions prohibition of employment of children in factories. (although it doesn’t mention any restriction upon the employment of children by their own parents in their work)
- The child labour (prohibition and regulation amendments act, 2016)
- Child and adolescents labour amendment rules, 2017
- Universal declaration on human rights
- Sustainable development goal mentions the basic rights of children
- UN conventions on rights of the child
Other than these laws and regulations, here are some organisations which are working to eradicate child labour are –
- Child rights and you (CRY) ( https://www.cry.org/ )
- Childline India foundation ( https://www.childlineindia.org/ )
- Save the children India ( https://www.savethechildren.in/ )
- Bachpan bachao andolan ( https://bba.org.in/ )
- Pratham education foundation ( https://www.pratham.org/ )
You can join these work forces by volunteering with them or donating in them for their noble cause, and if you are unable to join them, here are a few tiny steps that you can take as an individual to contribute in the alleviation of this disaster. –
- Sponsor a child’s education
- Offer free tuitions or vocational training to any child in need
- Change your ignorant attitude, make it your duty to make the parents and children aware about their rights and the hazards of child labour
- Be active in reporting any such employer who is taking work from children
Now I would like to finish this discussion by sharing with you all a quote which sums up my point very precisely.
Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.Grace Abbott
© 2018 Muskan Sharma
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